Chemical Dynamics and Diagnostics
|NRL / Materials / Chemistry / Code 6110 / Code 6113 / Facilities||NRL Resources|
Fuel Cell Test facility
Provides five fuel cell test stations for the evaluation of 1 W to 500 W PEM fuel cells (Scribner). 10 cm2 PEM fuel cell are made and assembled in the lab, using a polymer dryer and hot press, and assembled in fuel cell test hardware. Additionally, we have a set up for the analysis of single-cell high temperature fuel cells comprising a PAR 263 with a 10A booster and a 1253 Solartron impedance analyzer.
Fuel Cell System Test Bed
A fuel cell test bed is set up for the characterization of fuel cell systems, e.g., stacks fully integrated into devices. The system performance is monitored and recorded using a LabView code written specifically for the test station. A variety of voltage dividers and Hall Effect current sensors monitor the relative performance of each subsystem in real time. In addition to multiple channel data acquisition, the LabView code and DAQ board allow for control of the system under test, so that simulated load profiles can be preprogrammed and run with consistency from one test to the next.
Battery Test and Fabrication Facility
Li-ion microbatteries can be fully fabricated, tested and packaged in a new Braun Ar-glove box equipped with a furnace, analytical microbalance, and 2 Maacor battery testers with the capability to test 16 batteries simultaneously. The facility is also equipped with a PAR 263 analytical potentiostat and a Solartron 1260 impedance analyzer for the complete electrical characterization of microbatteries and battery materials. Supporting equipment for this facility include another analytical microbalance and a third Maacor battery tester with 8 channels, for testing outside the glove box.
Electrocatalyst Evaluation Stations
The group has 4 analytical potentiostats and rotating disk electrode for the analysis of fuel cell electrocatalysts. Each station is equipped with a thermal controller and glassware. The instrumentation is as follows:
Powder X-ray Diffraction (XRD)
Code 6113 maintains a Bruker D-8 power diffractometer with a theta-theta configuration, explicitly designed for the analysis of powdered materials.
Temperature Programmed Desorption (TPD)
Code 6113 maintains a Micromeritics AutoChem II 2920 Chemisorption Analyzer used to measure adsorption and desorption processes on catalysts.
Molecular Biology Facility
A full scale molecular biology facility equipped with DNA thermocyclers for conducting polymerase chain reaction, protein/nucleic acid purification system (including radioisotope facility), DNA synthesizer, protein and nucleic acid electrophoresis systems, and multi-scale microbial culturing capability.
Several lasers are available for use in conjunction with the mass spectrometric experiments, including Nd:YAG, CO2, nitrogen, Ti:sapphire, and argon ion lasers. A laser-based printing facility is also available for sensing and tissue engineering applications (antibodies, prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells, tissue scaffolding, etc).
Cell Biology Facility
A full scale tissue culture facility with primary mammalian cell culture, cell lines, and monoclonal isolation and characterization is set up. The facility supports laser cell printing studies for DoD applications including the creation of living 3D microfluidic networks, spinal cord repair studies, and neural engineering. Humidity controlled CO2 incubators, Class II biohazard hoods, light and epi-fluorescent microscopes, fluorescence in-situ hybridization assay (FISH), video capture and analysis equipment, FACS, BIACORE, and protein purification and identification tools are available.
Laser Direct Write Facility
Code 6113 maintains a complete laser direct write system capable of printing highly diverse materials on the microscale. Capabilities include printing micro-structures and microarrays of battery materials, inorganics, and biologicals such as living bacteria, mammalian cells, functional proteins, tissue and DNA.
Organometallic Synthesis Facility
Code 6113 maintains a Schlenk vacuum line and rotary evaporator for air-free organometallic synthesis. The facility is currently being used to create new selective oxidation catalysts for sensing and fuel cell applications.
General Analytical Services Facility
Code 6113 maintains several analytical stations for diverse molecular analysis. A thermogravimetric analyzer (TGA) is maintained with differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) capabilities (biofuel analysis). Also a gas chromatography (GC) station is maintained for permanent gas (primarily used for catalysis, biofuel and biological gas analysis) and fatty acid methyl ester (FAME, biodiesel) analysis. A high pressure liquid chromatography station is also maintained with refractive index detection for small molecular analysis (primarily used for biological metabolites and carbohydrates).
3 furnaces, 3 analytical balances, 1 centrifuge, 1 optical microscope with digital camera